While I’m not a big wine drinker, and actually prefer a sweeter wine, and I call myself a ‘baby wine drinker’ for this reason, Napa was truly fascinating.
Not only did I drive a black 2019 Beetle through the AMAZING Napa Valley countryside like a free bird on the wind (with the luxury of modern-day GPS), but it was super nerdy-interesting as well as way more stunning – as most destinations are – in real life than I ever thought.
We took an AMAZING tour while I was there with a group of travel professionals and I was truly amazed at how interesting it was! Wine is affected by the climate, the soil, and the temperatures. Here are the most interesting things I learned:
1. Napa’s best wine areas are protected & as a result, there are super-few commercial entities other than wineries and a few gas stations in certain wine country areas. This is to protect the land from becoming commercialized. No McDonald’s, no Walmarts, and no other chains or commonly seen establishments were nearby.
2. One reason Napa can produce great wine is that the area has a number of types of soil, all of which are found around the world! You can read more about it on these websites:
Napa Valley Wine Academy: https://napavalleywineacademy.com/four-distinct-soil-types-behind-some-of-the-worlds-greatest-wines/
Napa Vintners Website: https://napavintners.com/napa_valley/soils_and_geology.asp
3. The Golden Gate Bridge has a huge effect on the weather in the Napa Valley, creating certain airflow, warmer air and cooler air in different parts of the valley, allowing for the area’s wineries to grow many types of wine.
4. There are over 400 wineries in the Napa Valley region, most of them are family owned! How cool is that? I love it.
5. Co-dependency with French vineyard plants: A good long time ago, and I don’t remember the exact details or what it was called, but there was a pest of some sort that we shared inadvertently with the French winemakers, so that it cannot survive without an American vine, and now our vines also, because they gave it back to us, cannot survive without a French vine. So all the Napa and French wines depend on the vines of one another in order to grow healthy and survive.
A vine in Napa:
There was SO much more! In fact, there is an AMAZING hotel I would just love to send any wine lover to stay at during a visit, or go myself in Napa… sitting on the front of a vineyard with a balcony overlooking the vineyard with a firepit right on the balcony!
Look how amazing:
Ask if you’d like to check it out! But, even if you’re not SUPER into wine, it is a gorgeous area to visit, and I’d encourage you to go!